Form 16 Certification

Form 16 Certification – Boundary Location

The Board continues to receive advice that Form 16 certifications concerning the location of buildings in relation to a property boundary are being provided by people who are not qualified to provide the certification, as they are not registered cadastral surveyors.

The Board published the Guideline – Surveys relating to Property Boundaries and the guideline contains the following:

Who can provide a certification of location in respect to a property boundary?

If a certification is required regarding the location of any building, improvement, or utility in relation to a property boundary, this must be provided by a registered cadastral surveyor. This includes a Form 16 certification in relation to boundary clearances of a building per s18A of the Building Regulations 2006 relating to the Building Act 1975.


Improvements near boundaries

Cadastral surveyors are reminded that they are to record and show the location of improvements on or near boundaries. This is a requirement of Cadastral Standard 3.20 (CSR V7.1). The requirement applies to both new and existing boundaries.

In addition to this, the Survey and Mapping Infrastructure Regulation (s.17) requires the position to be recorded of any encroachment and any permanent improvement that affects, or is affected by, a reinstatement. The following section (s.18) requires that the surveyor notify the owner of land who may be adversely affected by a reinstatement. It is not a requirement that a notification be issued for every improvement that is recorded near a boundary, if there is not a potential adverse effect.

A ‘rule of thumb’ for assessing whether or not an owner may be adversely affected is to put yourself in the shoes of that owner, and ask “If the owner was a reasonable person, would they expect to be informed about that?”

The regulation (s.10) also has specific requirements about encroachments, both in terms of recording and notification. Questions sometimes arise as to whether a retaining wall is an encroachment. If there is doubt about which party is the beneficiary of a retaining wall, it should not be described as an encroachment in a notification to owners.